Now, you can wear MiG-21 history on your wrist

On a mission to tell tales from India through their products, Bangalore Watch Company has come up with a new collection of watches inspired by the Indian Air Force.

Published: 14th September 2019 06:41 AM  |   Last Updated: 14th September 2019 06:41 AM   |  A+A-

Nirupesh Joshi and Mercy Amalraj  Nagaraja Gadekal

Express News Service

BENGALURU: On a mission to tell tales from India through their products, Bangalore Watch Company has come up with a new collection of watches inspired by the Indian Air Force. Titled MACH1, the collection consists of pilot-style watches that pay tribute to the MiG-21 Type 77, the first supersonic fighter jet of the IAF.

“Aviation watches or pilot watches are not new to this industry. Many international watch brands have aviation style watches. Likewise, Bangalore Watch Company wanted to produce world-class watches in India that tell stories from India,” Nirupesh Joshi, the co-founder and creative director of the company, told CE about the collection, which was launched this week.

MiG-21 FL Type 77 (NATO Codenamed FISHBED) was the first supersonic fighter jet of the IAF. Produced by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) under licence from the Soviet Union, and inducted into the IAF in the early 1960s, the plane played a critical role during the 1971 Bangladesh war. “We wanted to pay tribute to the Indian Air Force with an aviation-style watch collection. HAL is headquartered in Bengaluru, and the city has played a critical role in the history of the IAF. We are proud to bring stories from the city and India through our watches,” said co-founder Mercy Amalraj. 

The couple entered the watchmaking industry to fulfil their passion and released their first collection in 2018. The industry is demanding more innovative ideas from watchmakers, says Joshi. “Mercy was working in quality assurance field while I was a director of consulting services for an IT company. After we established Bangalore Watch Company, we wanted to  produce world-class mechanical watches.

But in India, the awareness about luxury watches is not high as that in other markets. So we are looking at the wallet share of people who are willing to buy other luxury items like smartphones, home appliances, etc. We have a line-up of stories that we are so excited to bring in future.” 

The MACH 1 collection was designed and assembled in Bengaluru with components imported from manufacturers from Switzerland, Hong Kong, and Japan. The entire collection consists of five wristwatch models priced between `48,000 and `53,000. One of the five models is special because its dial is made from the skin of a decommissioned Indian Air Force MiG-21 plane. 

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